“Was that God or indigestion?” is the existential struggle in obscure waking hours of the night. The answer is likely, “both” or “a ghost” (jkz).
After sweeping away my nonsense dream panic of, “There’s not enough pipes, and there is no word!” I realized my thought wasn’t real, sat up, and burped. Through my window, a dull glow of mismatched night light dressed my bedroom walls in anxiety.
My brain felt like a tightly twisted, dry bath towel. Especially, if water were peace of mind. I set my default mode to the equivalent of mental leg cramps in case I forgot to be anxious about something.
In a state of spiritually wandering the night lands (we’ll call it prayer), I pictured a survival pouch with labels for what my mind needed daily. The rations were running low, and the SMTWTFS boxes had no “peace pills” left.
Unknowingly, we can go into conservation mode, which values perceived self-reliance and prides itself on efficacy having a minimal carbon footprint in our relationships. We weren’t meant to live like this. We were meant to need, to ask, and to depend.
Hoarding and rationing are poverty+scarity driven. Accepting unlimited peace feels reckless and irresponsible because it’s countercultural. But let that stand for evidence for a spiritual truth. Allow yourself the bewilderment of God, the audacity to believe in an endless supply.
I’ve got to have a new strategy for my spiritual life. It’s standing on it’s last broken leg and needs to fall. Every night I go to sleep regretting time I didn’t spend cramming my dreams in a bag like they’re all the pieces of a car that just isn’t put together. I’m just hoping once I have time, I’ll put the car together, and it will finally take me somewhere, but I got a feeling this car is always going to stay pieces.
I can’t talk to God in the same way and can’t spend time with Him the ways I’m used to. It’s flat. My spiritual health can’t be drugged with fresh, trendy teaching. It’s not working. It’s like God has left this place.
When you are going to travel long distances, you pack light. Only, I feel very packed and with too much don’t want-don’t need-outdated crap. Jesus was always going places and never taking anything with him but people.
This is what my instruments are telling me:
I’m drawn towards a life I can’t plan for, a future I can’t explain, a people I don’t know quite how to get to, and it feels backwards. Like the thing that’s drawing me is so strong it’s leaped ahead of the dream. Instead of a dream creating longing, it’s the longing preparing me for a place that is not yet.
My shoes want new ground and are walking on pure desire for ground to be there. And when they get there, they will wait for it to be there.
I had a whole story with this tree-picking it out, hearing the phrase, “Agree with the promise,” cutting it down, feeling slightly bad but magical, decorating it to a Christmas Pandora station, and then the part happened where I woke up the next morning and the tree fell over, and I couldn’t get it to stand back up.
So I left it there all day. The next night, I sat beside it on the floor thinking “What can I hear from this?”
“It’s not that the tree was too small, it was the ‘stand’ that was too small.”
If I was the tree, maybe my stand has been too small. What am I giving up on. Could I stand more. Or again?
I let the questions walk by silently, and I didn’t stop them. Eventually they left, and I plugged in the lights on the fallen tree.
Today I saw someone who haunted me. A high school kid was walking between two ponds as I drove by, and the “give him a ride?” lightbulb flashed in my head, but I knew better. I drove on to the chorus concert and sat in the back.
Anyone can sing in the chorus. An eclectic collection of kids was the result. In the back tier of the portable stage, a kid in a red shirt stood. A crowd of parents sat, except his didn’t because they weren’t there. He was the kid who walked alone because he had memorized songs and showed up to sing them.
I couldn’t stop watching him because he looked like a character in a book that had already been written. It wanted to tear every bad page out before got there. It haunted me that he memorized every word to every song–that part of him cared and flickered bravely, so fragile, and no one was there to call it light.
Every time I go to my Grandma’s and Grandaddy’s, I knock, knowing they won’t hear and I have to call them on the phone and say “I’m outside.” Last time, I put flowers in a vase while I waited for someone to show up at the door. The new flowers replaced dead ones. They were orange and purple and needed to be seen.
I don’t want the kid in the red shirt’s song to die. He showed up on purpose, and I don’t blame him for every bad choice he might make, but I want to say, “don’t do it,” and for that to be enough. I watched his mouth open weirdly when he sang in front of a crowd, and I was happy he was seen. I was happy he knew the words.
Please keep singing.
The tiniest paper trail I could leave today is a poem. But it means I existed today.
I hear sink water running,
accomplishing more than
My brother washes
i am defeated
to the couch.
Who am I becoming?
Not what’s going on.
Not what can I do.
Who am I becoming?
When I take steps, what
growth am I stepping towards?
Who am I becoming?
Not what will I do next.
Not where will money come from?
Who am I becoming?
Not what have I accomplished.
Not what am I waiting for.
Who am I becoming?
What are the questions I’m
asking myself and what are
their purpose? Change the question to
Who am I becoming?
This poem isn’t what I’d normally post as a poem because it’s just a journal entry wearing a poem. I wanted to create today so I could go to sleep and not have another day where I didn’t put myself out into the world more.
I set my alarm on my phone for 4 minutes and I held a pen in my hand but didn’t write or scratch my head or sling my neck to crack it or have good posture, and I found myself a little more. So please take four minutes and try to do the same and see what comes through.
“God = disappointment.” I saw the equation out in the dark rain and didn’t have the energy to not agree. It’s not true, but a weak and exhausted part of me let it fall on me and push my breath out of me. I came back through the foggy glass door to finish working out. The strong part of me pushed the sideways conclusion off and saw it for what it was, and I realized I have a better relationship with disappointment than I do with God. Yes, that is more true than God = disappointment. I dialogue with unanswered prayers, even the ridiculous ones I want the most like, “God make the light turn green” or “Let me beat this person in Clash of Clans.” Each prayer lost is like a little exhale, or a hand written note saying “God doesn’t give a shit about giving you anything.”
Most often the first thing I think every morning is how I’m so thankful for my family, and sleep, and my pillows. It’s a part of me that connects with God and knows I am so damn lucky. So it’s like there are two Gods. The one who is super kind who keeps me overwhelmed with gratitude. And my inner-dialogue God.
God ≠ Inner Dialogue.
Christmas is great,–hope, wishes, presents, and blah blah blah, but I can’t ignore the tetherball effect of hope when you slap it and it comes back around and smacks you in the head. Praying and hoping in the early stages always brings pain and feelings of “I’m tricking myself. I’m stupid,” and much of the time the pain scares me away from hanging in long enough to even get anything more out of hope and prayer. And asking God for things never fails to make me feel belittled because I feel like God makes awkward face (like the lying I-don’t-have-money-face) and we both just know “Ehhhhh–you already get what you deserve…that’s all there is.” And I feel like a child, not in the liberating way, but in the inferior way.
And then it’s me talking to False-God-Inner-Dialogue who makes my stomach turn like when I remember that awful phase where I liked eating boiled eggs. So now I have the memory of eating lots of boiled eggs.
So my point is in all of this, it’s really easy to get lost. I end up spending way more time with ideas and my own bad thoughts. As Jared told me the other day. “I feel like instead of looking far away, like into a field, I’m looking right in front of me, and I want my eyes to be further out there.” Don’t get lost in the up-close. It’s not God. It’s not even you either. Walk away from that inner-dialogue son of a bitch. You owe nothing to her/him. Go walk far into the field where God might really be or where a truer you will most assuredly be.
All the hipsters are eating
into one another
eating each other out
of money they always have
all my friends
eating out for dinner
running church groups
not liking instagram posts
but re-tweeting celebrities
all my friends
are eating themselves raw
until they are full of hipsters
on the outside in instagrams
I double tap.
Pumpkins are the most loyal friend a man or woman can have.
I have been writing as if for myself lately, but it needs to be stretched, so I’m posting it on here. It’s not diary material by any means or a cheap dump. But I wanted to share my serious talks with myself as they’ve surfaced lately. So yes, smorgasbord is a real place you can be. How are you? I’m smorgasbord thanks.
It’s hard to write about topics as seen below, because talking about love makes me cringe because it is hardly ever done right, and it reminds me of former goopy-ish writings from teenage versions of me. Only that’s not what this is.
For someone to love you in a way and to come to the conclusion, “It is important for me to see–and be entirely confident–you know how I love you very much.” For someone to not want you to miss that. This is the love I miss. Most of the time, in our inability to rise to the occasion, even the feeling of love is placed off on the other person. So if they don’t know you love them it’s because they just aren’t seeing it, or you shouldn’t have to tell them or have any responsibility in them knowing it. Closer to the truth, it barely involves us at all. If I think of how often I say, “I love you” it would be at least a couple of times a day at the end of phone conversations. But I don’t remember saying I love you to someone and leaning into the meaning behind the words, patiently not escaping the uncomfortableness of what comes after. We don’t linger long enough in the presence of those words or our intentionality to inhabit what they will do. We don’t stick around to see them testify for us-or to us-that there was an appealing exchange. We make our love-drop for the other person to pick up. Our feelings don’t remain attached to us because we can’t bear the result, so the finished work is never made. And its better that way because we both can move on, breathing a sigh of relief, because we did it. We showed someone we indeed love, but we didn’t have to feel it.
Not a change of friends, but a change of their inner functionality and I’m not talking swapping Cowboys for Space Rangers:
A lot of my friendship-seats in my mind have been reserved for my closest friends, but my closest friends aren’t choosing to sit in those seats. I wonder if all of this time if I keep the spots open, waiting for a person who isn’t coming back because they aren’t in my life anymore in a physical way. What if someone else would like to sit in those spaces. What if I relabeled them 20-minute parking? It reminds me of the scene in You’ve Got Mail where Kathleen Kelly is saving the seat for NY152, but Joe Fox shows up. She has no idea he is the one who she has been saving the seat for. In her mind, she is waiting for someone else to come, but they already came. I want to open up some new seats. My best friends aren’t coming to take them, and they don’t care that I have saved a seat for them. But it’s a team effort in our wrongness. I’m wasting my time. I want to give the deserved seats even possibly to people I haven’t met yet. It doesn’t mean I need or want new best friends. They will always be my best friends, but it means I need to let go of the places in my heart people don’t want to take. It is my heart to leave a space for them, but it they don’t want it I want to use my heart to benefit someone who really would appreciate and grow from the love that’s there.
In my head I want this morning to be a win. Win because I’m not standing in front of 3rd graders saying phrases like, “Did you ask to get up? Spell it the best you can. Take your jacket off your head. I’m moving your clip to yellow. I’m writing you up for climbing on the bathroom stalls.” I won’t miss literally watching a kid eat boogers or walking into a fog of someone’s gas they so willingly contributed to the classroom. But I will always miss their stories. I love how their eyes light up about their smencils (spell-good pencils), or the gruesome details of their pet that got “runned over,” or how they remembered to take a bath so they don’t stink bad. The hardest part is the stories that are too big for them to understand. They blurt those out in transitions like, “I never seen my daddy,” or “me and my mom sleep on a couch cause there’s no bed,” or just the fact their jacket smells like cigarettes every morning. Working with kids let me imagine what I might do right or wrong as a parent. One of my biggest struggles was stepping away from them, so they would trust their own ability. And now, I’m stepping away from them completely, but that is part of growth on my end. It’s knowing I can’t save their world through exhaustive micro-fixes. Now, in a very similar way, I’m stepping away from one of my toughest struggles. I take huge precautions to protect myself from any judgement that might say I’m not making the smartest decisions in life right now. In this time I’m attempting to walk out “intentionality” as purely as I can. I want to have bearings instead of wanderings. I took my last job as a Para Professional because I had fear in my heart of not having money and fear of appearing lost or, even worse, lazy. And taking the job was a solution, but to the wrong problem. For those five weeks, I had money, but it was insufficient, and I had a wall to protect me from judgement. But walls can only protect you when you aren’t moving, and money (whether in miniscule amounts or shamefully huge sums) will never hold up in the place of passion and true direction. Really, what this time is about for me, is stopping trying to go on adventures that aren’t mine. And this finally relieves that feeling of life being like constantly wearing clothes that aren’t your size or style.